Monthly Archives: January 2018


“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me…” ~Jn 11:41b-42a

Sleeping-in on a dreary, rainy morning, picking up the novel of dujour, and snuggling under the covers has always been one of my favorite things to do. It just such a rarity these days that it has become a treasure chest memory of days long gone bye-bye.

First off, it is Sunday. I didn’t need to be sleeping in today. I needed to be up for church this morning. Didn’t happen. Instead my internal alarm clock that usually wakes me 15 minutes before I need to be awake, didn’t go off in my head until an hour and a half later. sigh.

Second, the book dujour that always has rested by my side during the night has been replaced by bouncy, smiley dogs. Dogs that are generally staring at me, tongues out, warm, smelly breath in my face, ready to drag me from sound sleep into their active world before I have even whispered my morning prayers.

In other words, my day didn’t go as I planned. So I do what I tend to do when things go awry, I followed the breadcrumbs. Went to my church via internet and worshiped with the people I usually worship with – only from my recliner. In fact, I could even share my pastor’s sermon with you tonight via YouTube. We live in amazing technological times even though the world often seems darker than ever before – literally and figuratively.

Later in the day, I followed the breadcrumbs back to John 11 as I have done most of this week. The last time I wrote, Jesus wept. He wept with compassion for Martha and Mary’s sorrow. He wept for Lazarus who had lain entombed for the past four days . He wept for His people who needed grace; grace that only He would provide. He wept as the foreshadowing covered them all in front of the tomb.

Then, He prayed.

A simple prayer. “Abba, I thank You that You have heard me…” Then in the same poor in spirit attitude that he taught in the beginning of his ministry, he continued his prayer. A prayer that was filled with faith in his Father’s love and mercy. “And I know that you always hear me, but for the sake of this crowd that is standing here I said these things, that they may believe that you have sent me.” ~v.42

Today, the breadcrumbs led me to see the full circle of Rabbi Yeshua’s prophecy from the beginning of chapter 11, “This sickness is not of death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified because of it.” ~v. 4, to Lazarus walking out of the tomb.

And then – – why am I surprised??? – – another breadcrumb appears on my path. God is good and loves to drop breadcrumbs on my path, which is really great since I would be way overwhelmed with a full loaf of bread dropped under my feet.

In any case, my pastor was really stringing pearls today from OT to NT and back again. As he spoke, the treasure chest of memories opened up. Singing this blessing in my church choir – in my high school choir – with the All Ohio Youth Choir – with my college choir – on the marching band bus – on choir tour buses – in cathedrals – under bridges – small groups – large groups – mixed quartets – college party nights under the stars (seriously – that’s the kind of parties I went to in college – and yes, in all other ways it was a typical college party from the 70’s)…

God blessed me many times over today, and more than I deserved. Such is grace. I am so glad this day didn’t go as I had originally planned. God always does a much better job in the planning department.

‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’Num 6:24-26



“Jesus wept.”~Jn 10:35

It is the shortest verse in the Bible and yet…it catches my breath every time I read it.

God wept.

I’ve been thinking of the story of Lazarus all week. It seems Our Father does this to me often. He plops breadcrumbs down in front of my feet – like I’m supposed to know what to do with them.

Eat them? Follow them?

Obviously, I don’t handle His hints very well. Sometimes, I crush them – mostly by accident…..I think – with the heel of my boots. Sometimes, I stoop down to study them where they are lying, wondering if I really want to deal with the mess of breadcrumbs in my pocket – you know – they crumble, right? Sometimes, I pick them up – popping them in my mouth – – duh, I’m hungry and the five second rule works for me. And sometimes – I pick them up and turn them carefully in my hands and wonder why they sparkle in the sun? Then I wonder just what in the world am I supposed to do with a sparkly breadcrumb?

It has been one of those weeks. The breadcrumbs have been plentiful – way more than I can handle – and I’ve been befuddled on what to do with all of them. My path littered with crumbs I’ve inadvertently crushed. My belly full of broken challa that feeds my soul. My pockets, a crumbly mess of wisdom that I wish I understood just a little more. My hands full of somewhat intact crumbs that sparkle and then I look up. The darkness thins, and He shows me why they sparkle. They are covered with tears.

As I’ve been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg which led me at some point to the story of Lazarus. As if to drive the point home, I stumbled over to a podcast by a Messianic Rabbi on John Chapter 11. Till finally last night, there was a transforming catalyst of the breadcrumbs and that sent me to the back door slider in our home. A sunset. A ray of light reflecting off my tears. He always prepares me, I just am not so smart at realizing it until I look closely at those breadcrumbs that I hold tenderly in my hand.

Rabbi Yeshua was close to His followers and even closer to His disciples. He was their teacher for as long as He was given. His Father gave him a list, and He gathered them by calling their name or telling a story or by just a look over a crowd. He broke bread with them. He taught them with love. He patiently explained this new knowledge in different ways, over and over and over. He struggled when they struggled with their faith. He wept when they wept for great was His compassion – – – great was His love.

In our society, students don’t stay as long with their teachers as they did in Jesus’ time. However, like the rabbis of old, teachers today still share tiny bits of their lives, knowledge – and hopefully – wisdom with those given to their charge by the Father through a list typed out by the school secretary in some office. Before they know it though, the students are walking out the door and onto their own paths; their teachers sniffle a little as they wave good-bye.

As teachers, we don’t talk about it much. We act like it is just a job. Actually, I don’t think we understand the process as much as we think we do. We just know – that somehow – we grew attached. We gathered them at the beginning of the year. We broke bread with them. We laughed with them. Struggled with them in their struggles. We sweated in the heat of the summer that didn’t know when to quit. We froze in the depth of winters when old boilers couldn’t keep up with the below-freezing cold. We wept when the ugliness of life jumped out of the bushes and unto the path that we are walking together.


Vehicle crashes.

Storms that break tree limbs.


A national tragedy – a local tragedy – a familial tragedy.

The connection between teachers and students has been there since the beginning of time and will continue in the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6). It has been modeled for us throughout the entire WORD. When Our Father gathered His people to Him. When He sat on Mount Sinai with Moses and the Elders to break bread (Ex 24:9-10). When He carved His law upon the tablets and told Moses what to write in the Torah (Ex 19-24). He struggles with His people when they struggle. He weeps with holy tears as His people weep (Jer 14:7).

Teachers – Students – breadcrumbs that sparkle with tears in every season of life. God is good and greatly to be praised. Amen and amen.


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SNOW DAY – PART I: A good way to start a snowy day is with a giggle.  It started to snow around 5 AM. The weather man said 2-3 inches over by 3 PM. An easy fun day of snow for NC since most everyone will stay home and play.jan 17 b
Teacher: How old is your father?
Student: 6
Teacher: What? How is that possible?
Student: Duh! He only became a father when I was born.

Hmmm…four inches later, we realize it might have been wise to keep up with the snow.  After all, snow bears (common alias used is choc labs) – one with a torn ACL – must have a way in and out of the home without slip-slidin’ away down the ramp. Brooms don’t work on such deep snow, and when you don’t have a snow shovel…rakes work quite well. Hubby and snow bears out in the snow often.

And I? By 5 PM, with 10 inches and counting, I loved watching the birds today. Filled the feeders twice, walked the paper to a neighbor and enjoyed our snow bears rolling and rolling and rolling in the snow.  Today’s wisdom:

  • “The Godly walk with integrity blessed are their children who follow them”~Prov 20:7
  • Queue is just Q with four silent letters.
  • “I’ve written all these stories without any pornography, without any obscenities.  I grew up among sailors and miners and lumberjacks and the roughest kind of men in the world, but I never found it necessary to use all that in the stories. I can make them real without that. I think that kind of writing is a cover up for lack of real skill.”~Louis L’Amour
  • Never trust a weatherperson who says says: “It’ll be a small snow fall”.

jan 18 g

SNOW DAY – PART II: Early morning view of Carolina blue sky – 10″ of snow – bright sunshine – highs rising to the upper 30’s. Can’t get much better than that on “snow” day part II” in North Carolina”.

Snow days Carolina style – snow bears (disguised as choc labs most of the year) love running and playing in snow, but they also love snuggling next to the fire. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle rarely leaves the fireplace unless it is to lie on the back of the couch. While Hubby loves to explore the snow-covered roads, but sometimes the car has a mind of its own and locks him out. And I? I love reading my new devotional book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg as I look out the windows wondering what it would have been like to be Dorcus – or Mary – or Martha sitting at Yeshua’s feet – a talmidah – a female disciple sitting at His feet.jan 18 c

Wisdom gained:

  • “For the eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”~1 Pt 3:12 
  • “You cannot separate life from work. The way you do the most insignificant activity in your daily life will reflect in your work.”~Masaaki Shibata
  • “I’m going there to meet my Saviour 
    To sing his praise forever more 
    I’m just a-going over Jordan 
    I’m just a-going over home”~Wayfarin’ Stranger original last chorus.
  • The weatherperson says that it’ll reach the high 40’s tomorrow, will it? I can only hope.  10 inches of snow will take a long time to go away if it doesn’t get warm.

jan 17 d

SNOW DAY – PART III. Hubby has been for his walk with the snow bears, and snowjan 19 a bears are now restless. There is sun but no place to lay in the sun without being cold and wet. Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle watches birds from the window with deep longing, but escape in snow is futile to tender kitten paws. Temperatures are almost into the 50’s. Roads have a hint of pavement peeking through. And I? I am contemplating my prayer list, my poor- in-spirit/failings list, my thankfulness for my haverim/haverat (peers that inspire and challenge me) and the gift of quiet days that interrupt my usual schedule of busyness that I might find His joy and laughter on His path that I so often screw up. #blessingsbe #righttolife #inprayer

  • “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I AM with them.”~Matt 18:19-20
  • Teacher: What is the chemical formula for water?
    Student: H I J K L M N O 
    Teacher: What are you talking about?
    Student: Yesterday you said it was H to O.
  • The weatherperson said: “High 40’s today”.  It is 49 and counting.
  • Walk in obedience, remember the past, respect all life, be in prayer always.

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“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

A King’s Day.

Waking up early to bake Mama Mick’s 3-layer choc cake is always a celebratory way to start the day. I pull out my notebook that holds the recipe. 3 note cards filled with Mom’s beautiful cursive from different stages in her life. One cake recipe that is supposed to be the same, but somehow – appears different on every card. I always end up using bits and pieces from each card to make one cake.

Devil’s food chocolate cake.
Choc fudge frosting for the layers.
7 minute frosting on top (that the Grands call marshmallow frosting)

It takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Best yet, when I get to the last part of making the 7-minute frosting, I get to pull out Grandma Mac’s double boiler. It is getting old, and I dread the day when the rust spots in that blue-spotted, enamel pot completely finish the work they started.

Touchstones on a King’s Day.

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 drummers drumming.”

Drummers drumming are often loud, bombastic, full of sound and rhythm. Seems like the composer of the 12 Days of Christmas had an epiphany for Epiphany. The day celebrated in honor of the Magi who made their way to the infant newborn King in Bethlehem. The first hint that Gentiles would be welcomed and loved as a part of Our Father’s family.

“…the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~Matt 2:9-11

Traditionally, the 12 drummers represent the 12 points of the Apostles Creed. 12 points of faith in the fulfilled destiny of the infant king that the Magi found in a house under a star. 12 points of faith that remind us what that baby modeled for us everyday of his journey on this planet. 12 points of faith that we should let resound with rhythm and sound deep into our hearts.

A King’s Day.

A day when I woke up to make a cake. Felt my parents and grandparents’ love around me as I mixed the ingredients. Rejoiced over the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that I have been given throughout Christmas 2017 – even the cold weather and “cold” cough. Brought my gifts to a young lad who is in the early stages of his journey and hugged my “1st baby girl” who also celebrated a birthday this week. Laughed with the Grands as I tried to play Bop-it with a tiny figure named Groot. Drank the remainder of a NYC son-in-law’s perfect bloody mary mix. Re-affirmed the 12 points of faith tonight as I yawned one more time.

It has been a King’s Day to ponder in my heart and file in my treasure chest of memories. A King’s Day.

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.”

*the true Christian church of all times and all places

Blessings!Be! on this King’s Day. 

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“On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”


Faith that when the pipes freeze up in the house, Hubby (who is beyond wise when it comes to fixing things) will come up with the answer (and he did). Faith, that in a few weeks, I will probably be complaining about the weather being way too hot (and I will). Faith that a kitten’s tummy ache will get better (and she is eating). Faith that eventually this cold will bite the dust (I’m still waiting). Faith that God hears all my prayers before the whispers even emerge from my heart (AND HE DOES).

“On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 11 pipers piping…”

Do I really think it was a coincidence that on the day of 11 pipers piping, our pipes froze after all the cold days we’ve had this week? I think not. God’s sense of irony just leaves me shaking my head and laughing as I bring in the water jugs from the garage. I know in my heart it’s just His way of reminding me that I need to laugh at myself and at what life hands me. So half frozen (me and the water jugs), I pour slush into the dog’s water dish since they can’t drink out of the toilet. Ryndi sticks her nose in but refuses to drink anything unless it is dirty stream water or toilet water. Younger girl being not so fussy, drinks it half down. Good thing I have a few more water jugs left to get through the day because labs drink lots of water.

“The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.”~Ps 145:18

The 12 Days of Christmas is almost complete. The song reminds me that Christ left 11 disciples behind when He returned to the Father. 11 disciples who had a new song to pipe into the world. 11 disciples whose pipes carried Living Waters to those who had ears to listen and eyes to see. 11 disciples who were FAITH-filled to the Great Commission He had given to them.

And so once more – My Father brings me full circle. FAITH. Laughter. Pipes of Living Water. A commissioned song to sing to the world. FAITH! Things to remember during the closing of Christmas 2017.

“Later as they were eating, Jesus appeared to the eleven and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.…~Mk 16:15  pipers   [google image]


“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”


Not sure why staying home, doing mundane, everyday things bring me want to leap for joy. I just know it does.

Cardinals fussing around the bird feeders. A chicken hawk trying to grab a grey squirrel off a tree (he missed by the way – and boy – did that squirrel scurry down the tree). Dogs sliding in the snow just so they could roll in it one more time. Kitten playing in the box I’m trying to fill with Christmas past. Folding laundry. Cooking hot dogs with onions wrapped in a toasted tortilla. Learning something new during devotions.

It all just makes me – – – full of leaping joy.

“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 10 lords a-leaping.”

Traditionally, the 10 lords refer to the 10 commandments. 10 road markers to guide a weary traveler. 10 rock-solid principles in a wacky world of slithering truths. 10 laws that guided a way-ward, stubborn people out of slavery and idolatry into the promise land of new milk and honey sweet manna. 10 laws that Rabbi Yeshua followed faithfully as He walked in this physical world.

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with Your shield of Love.”~Ps 5:11-12


One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of the words the angels used on the night Our Father sent His Son to live with us. One of the words that Rabbi Yeshua used often. Is it any surprise that I’m leaping for joy tonight? It may be cold outside. I may still have a coughing, sniffling cold. I may not leave the house for another three days because I just don’t want to do so.


“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”~Jn 15:11 

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“On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”


They said, it wouldn’t reach us. They said it would dance east of us. They said if we saw any – it would just be a trace. “They” don’t always know what they think they know. I have one hope left. That “they” are right about it getting above freezing tomorrow.

Knew I should have gone to the store today.

I did get the most of the outside lights off the house. So tonight when the dogs did their “I- wanna-go-outside-dance”, there were still a few lights to guide their ‘slip, slidin’ away’. Lights on the grape vine tree – a snowman light in the corner of the porch – a couple of lamp posts lining our snow-covered ramp – and wire lights on the fresh greenery and ivy berries that have decorated our porch through Advent (although – I have noticed that the berries are half gone since the birds discovered them ripe for harvest).

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine ladies dancing.”

Dancing through life has always seemed like the best way to tackle the journey. Ever since I took dance classes and dressed up in old lace curtains to dance around the living room, dancing has appealed to me. As a teenager, I liked understanding my body and being able to make it move exactly the way I wanted – most of the time. Having a bad knee did curtail the trickier dance moves.

But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith, Humility, endurance; the law is not set against these things.”~Gal 5:22-23

In traditional symbolism, the nine ladies dancing refers to the nine “Fruits of the Spirit”. Dancing away from the world and dancing to the inner notes of the Holy Spirit. A dance that will lead us closer and closer to our One True Love. The Bridegroom who sings the song just for His Bride.

A new song. A new dance. A new life.

Nine ladies dancing into your life clothed in bright colors of love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith, humility, endurance to wrap around you. All you have to do is join the dance, then dance and dance and dance – bad knees, stumbling steps, tired feet and all.

See you on the dance floor.

For the WORD of God is living and all-efficient, and much sharper than a double edged sword, and it pierces to the separation of soul and spirit and of joints, marrow and of bones, and judges the reasoning and conscience of the heart.”~Heb 4:12  
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“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”

Milk and Honey.

Over the holydays, in the down times between family visits and this crazy cold, Hubby and I have been watching “Drive Thru History – Holy Land”. Having never been to Israel, I’ve found it fascinating to see all the places that I have read about take on a visual aspect within the context of Biblical history.

It sets my mind spinning as I try to see it as it was underneath the trappings of the present. Archaeologists are beyond amazing to me. They can find one tiny piece of the past, and with a certain amount of confidence, they reconstruct a viable reproduction of what it might have looked like or what function it served thousands of years ago. I struggle just to see a basic outline of what they are trying to show me.

“And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.”~Jer 32:22

2018 is the year Israel is honoring the 70th anniversary of its founding. In the days prior to establishing the old/resurrected country, there was a heated debate about how the Declaration of Independence would reference God. Those who placed a high value on the Torah and their place in God’s world wanted God to be named. Those who were atheistic or non-practicing Jews wanted religion to have no part in it at all. Eventually, they compromised, and throughout the declaration, they referred to God as the rock upon which Israel would stand. The land of milk and honey was re-established.

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: eight maids a-milking.”

In traditional symbols, the eight maids a-milking are the Beatitudes of Christ. Poor in spirit. Mournful. Meek. Hungering and Thirsting. Merciful. Pure in Heart. Peacemakers. Persecuted for righteousness. As we walk forward into 2018, it is good to remember that Jesus said we would be blessed when we made the beatitudes our attitudes.

Attitude is everything.

There is a land of milk and honey in our world and the spiritual world.

Eight maids a-milking are a gift from our True Love….

A Gift of Salvation.

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—”~1 Peter 2:2

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“On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

Yes, I know today is the first day of the world’s new year.


You know, when I was growing up, my parents said that “time flies”. I totally didn’t believe them, since it took forever to get to get from birthday-to-birthday or Christmas-to-Christmas or Labor Day-to-Memorial Day. But make no mistake, we continue to swim closer and closer to the end of the 12 days of Christmas 2017 and then 2018 will begin in earnest for me.

“On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: seven swans a swimming…”

I haven’t really made any resolutions this year – mostly because cold-fogged brains do not lend themselves to clear thoughts. But as the fog clears, and I start to swim in a straight line again, I’m beginning to organize my thoughts and figure out just where Our Father is wanting to lead me.

A friend and his family members chose a word to meditate on during the year. Another friend chooses a Bible verse. Others have chosen business or family goals. One friend has even chosen an author and wants to re-reads all the books, that person has written.

Truth be told, I’m not big on January New Year Resolutions. I suppose it is because for most of my 67 years on this earth, my new year has started with the beginning of school. Whether as a student or a teacher, that is when I set my direction for the year. Even now – almost 5 years into my retirement – I still find myself gearing up in August and preparing mentally to swim up-stream into a new adventure.

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.”~Is 11:1-3

There are 7 swans swimming in the living waters when we sing the 12 Days of Christmas. 7 fruits of the Spirit that Rabbi Yeshua modeled for us as He walked among us.

Fear [Awe] of God

Swim in the Living Waters. Harvest the Fruits of the Spirit. Now those are some resolutions that I think I really need to set my eyes on as I swim into this new adventurous year of 2018. I may have to push hard over the rapids. I may have to be patient in still waters. I may have to weather a storm or two. But if I wait for the breath of His promises under my wings, I can gain more power to swim a little closer to those Gifts of the Spirit and feel His peace surround me.

“I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Vine, and you are the branches; whoever abides with me and I in him, this one brings forth much fruit, because without me, you can do nothing.”~Jn 15:5 web-seven-gifts-of-the-holy-spirit-public-domain [google image]


“On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”


Okay – so eggs aren’t technically called manna, but they do sustain the body, right? Then again, with this yukky cold clogging up my head, my ears, my lungs – who can think straight? All that being said – I think it is a great way to start the New Year. I am getting all this miserable, awful, sickly, no taste-in-my-taste-buds feeling out of the way before 2018.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:a The old has gone, the new is here!”~2 Cor 5:17

The Grands are back in their bed giggling at the latest antics of a chihuahua. Hubby is off watching football. And I am eating my favorite snack of yogurt, berries with just a few dark choc chips mixed in just because I know I love eating this treat. However, at this second, the taste buds are refusing to let me enjoy it. So much for having a tasty New Year’s Eve snack later.

“On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: six geese a-laying.”

As miserable as I have felt all day, I was blessed as soon as I woke up with food that will never leave me hungry. It came in the form of testimonies from several of my friends who have walked through “tar pits” in their lives. Tar pits so sticky that I don’t know how they walked through it. From a devotional that daily reminds me to humble myself, be still and to listen. From a couple former students who continue to remind me to be thankful and leave clear footsteps on my path.

Six geese a-laying.


A new year full of manna, Light, Truth, Love and Grace for all who know the source of living waters. Blessings!Be! in 2018.